Sunday, August 20, 2017

Do more.

If you haven't heard about the Ennegram, you should look it up. It's like a magic guide to understanding your personality and inner workings. I'm a 1 on the Ennegram. It's titled "The Perfectionist" and this is what it says about 1's:

"Ones are conscientious and ethical, with a strong sense of right and wrong. They are teachers, crusaders, and advocates for change: always striving to improve things, but afraid of making a mistake. Well-organized, orderly, and fastidious, they try to maintain high standards, but can slip into being critical and perfectionist. They typically have problems with resentment and impatience." 

It kind of stresses me out to even tell yall that I'm a 1 because that tells you A LOT about my inner workings which then puts me in a vulnerable position. And I hate being appearing vulnerable. But I'm telling yall that I'm a 1 for a reason. 

Everything that has been happening in America recently deeply disturbs me. It deeply disturbs me that so many people could be filled with so much hate towards people just because they're different. 1's are also in the anger triad. I wouldn't call myself an angry person and I absolutely do not tolerate tempers, but I also find myself making a conscience effort to not be angry with the way things are right now. 

It makes me angry that there are people that are racist, sexist, and homophobic.
It makes me angry that people are rioting for "white rights" when they're really just rioting for hate.
It makes me angry that a woman died at the hands of these riots. 
It makes me angry that some of them are doing it in the name of Jesus.
It makes me angry that we have a president that has created a culture where hate is okay. 

Finally, it makes me angry that I am so angry. 

Friends, I have to make a conscience effort to not let that anger consume me and change me from within. The only reason that that doesn't happen is because of my faith in Jesus. However, that anger does move me to action. Because even though my livelihood is not being directly influenced, I will always fight on the side of love and against hate. 

In the midst of all of the Charlottesville riots, a church here in town was vandalized. Willow Grove Baptist Church is right outside Waco and is pastored by a fellow Truett student. One night, someone broke into the historic church and poured bleach on the carpets, wrote "Satan" "Trump" and swastikas on the floor, and just vandalized other parts of the building. It was the definition of a hate crime. That also made me angry.

That Sunday, I went to church with a longing desire to spend time with the Lord. I desperately wanted His comfort. I was heartbroken and sad. I spent Saturday going between trying to ignore all my emotions and randomly tearing up. Sunday morning, I saw that there was a community prayer gathering at Willow Grove at noon. I decided to go and I am SO gad that I did. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. The small church was packed full of people from every background, denomination, race, gender, sexual orientation, and culture. And it was SO joyful. We sang together, prayed together, and reminded each other that God is sovereign and that there is always victory in the Lord. It took my heart (which tends to be pretty cynical) and made it joyful through a powerful presence of the Holy Spirit. I'm convinced that I got a small glimpse of Heaven during that service.

Does that erase the fact that someone was hateful? Of course not. But it led to prayers of forgiveness, welcoming, and repentance. 

Will I ever understand why people are so filled with hate? Of course not. 
Will I ever understand why people see our current president fit to run the country? Nope. 
Will I ever stop being angry about the way people treat people that are different than themselves? I sure hope not. 

This is why we have to listen to one another, friends. If you disagree with one another, that is okay! But give the other person respect and listen to their opinion instead of attacking their humanity. Surround yourself with people that are different than you. Find someone of a different gender, race, social economic status, or sexual orientation and listen to their story and their struggles. I guarantee that it will change you to your core. 

Do more listening. Do more forgiving. Do more.

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